How to Print Screen on a Mac, 6 different ways to capture screenshot on a Mac

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“How to Print Screen on a Mac, 6 different ways to capture screenshot on a Mac”
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Here’s how to capture the entire screen, a window, or just a portion of your screen by taking a screenshot on your Mac.

To learn more about this topic, visit the follow article:
Take a screenshot on your Mac: http://apple.co/1Gi2FNL

Additional Resources:
Contact Apple Support for Mac: http://apple.co/Mac

To subscribe to this channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AppleSupport

To download the Apple Support app: http://apple.co/2hFtzIv

Apple Support on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AppleSupport


If you Googled “How to do Print Screen on a Mac,” it means that you recently have switched from Windows to a shiny Mac and have no idea where to find the “Print Screen” button, which is present on most keywords designed for Windows. There are some exceptions, but almost all Windows keyboards have the “Print screen” button somewhere. Unfortunately, there is no such button on your Mac, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t take a screenshot; you can, but the process is a bit more complicated, harder to memorize but is much more flexible when it comes to output and what you are specifically looking to capture in a screenshot.

There are 6 (!) different ways to capture a screenshot on your Mac, 3 different approaches with 2 separate outputs for each, but I use only two. I call myself a heavy Mac user, and I have taken thousands of screenshots in the last year alone that are all published on these WordPress theme collections. I have no idea how many are there, but I am sure that at least tens of thousands of screenshots are all captured using macOS Monterey.

I originally decided to write this tutorial because dozens of people have asked how I have created all those screenshots on this website. I will leave this blog post as a reference to anyone asking the same question again.

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1. Method

1.1 Capture the entire screen area and save it to the clipboard

Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 3

Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 3 - Capture screenshot and save it on clipboard
Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 3

1.2 Capture entire screen area and save it to a file on your desktop

Command ⌘ + Shift + 3

Command ⌘ + Shift + 3
Command ⌘ + Shift + 3 – Capture screenshot and save it as a file

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2. Method

This method will help you capture a selected area of our screen such as the menu bar, opened applications, some part of the desktop, some application window, or anything else. This is a slightly more “advanced” method, but it is beneficial to get used to it. I use this method a lot, but you have to repeat it to memorize and learn how to use it properly on your Mac.

2.1 Capture selected screen area and save it to the clipboard for further use in apps

Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 4
Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 4 + Drag with mouse. Capture the selected area of the screen and save it on the clipboard.
  1. Press the Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 4 (for older Mac versions use Apple key ⌘+ Control + Shift + 4) all at the same time.
  2. You will notice that your mouse cursor changes to “+” with pixel coordinates on the right side
  3. Now click and drag a box around the section that you want to capture and release the mouse button when you are done
  4. Now screen capture is saved on the clipboard for further use in apps

2.2 Capture selected screen area and save it to a file on your desktop

Command ⌘ + Shift + 4
Command ⌘ + Shift + 4 + Drag with mouse. Capture the selected area of the screen and save it as a file on your desktop.
  1. Press the Command ⌘ + Shift + 4 (for older Mac versions use Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4) all at the same time.
  2. You will notice that your mouse cursor changes to “+” with pixel coordinates on the right side
  3. Now click and drag a box around the section that you want to capture and release the mouse button when you are done
  4. Now screen capture is saved on a PNG file on your desktop (if not otherwise specified)

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3. Method

This method will help you save a print screen of a particular application window such as a web browser, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, or others.

3.1 Capture a screenshot of a particular app window and save it to the clipboard

Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 4
Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 4 + Space bar + Mouse Click. Print screen particular windows on save it on the clipboard
  1. Command ⌘ + Control + Shift + 4
  2. You will notice that your mouse cursor changes to “+” with pixel coordinates on the right side
  3. Now with spacebar (that very wide button on your keyboard )
  4. Now click on the window you would like to capture in a screenshot
  5. The screenshot is now saved on your clipboard for further use in apps
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3.2 Capture a screenshot of a particular app window and save it to a file on your desktop

Command ⌘ + Shift + 4
Command ⌘ + Shift + 4 + Space Bar + Mouse Click. Print screen particular windows on save it as a file on the desktop.
  1. Command ⌘ + Shift + 4
  2. You will notice that your mouse cursor changes to “+” with pixel coordinates on the right side
  3. Now with space bar (that wide button on your keyboard )
  4. Now click on the window you would like to capture in a screenshot
  5. The screenshot is now saved on a PNG file on your desktop (if not otherwise specified)

As I said, there are 3 methods with 2 different outputs, and we have covered them all. If you have trouble with any of these methods, please let us know in the comments below.

You don’t need to memorize all these methods and the best solution here is to find the one or two that you like the most and practice for a while to memorize the theme. If you think that you will forget, make sure to bookmark this page for further reference.

If you did try to use some of the methods mentioned above, you might have noticed that screenshots are saved as PNG files. It is OK to use this file format in most cases because you will get the best image quality. Still, if you are using MacBook Pro Retina or some other 4K monitor, you will notice that screenshots can be as large as 5-8MB, which is unacceptable for sending several such files via email.

There is a solution for this as you can change the default file type for screen captures using a simple terminal command. Every installation of Mac OS X includes the Terminal, which you can find in Applications -> Utilities. Or use search to find “Terminal” faster.

This OS X function supports most major image formats, including PNG, PDF, GIF, TIFF, and JPG. We’ll go with JPG since that is common and will output a smaller image size than the default PNG.

Mac OS X Yosemite Terminal

Now that you have Terminal opened copy/paste this command and hit enter (return):

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

You might have to input your Mac user password; if so, go ahead and do it.

These changes will take effect after the next restart, but you can use this command to make these changes instant. Again copy/paste this command in the Terminal window and hit enter (return).

killall SystemUIServer

Screen captures will now be saved as JPG files. To change back to PNG or any other file format, just run through the process again, setting ‘png’ or different as you type in the first Terminal command.

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In case you are looking for the original image of the Mac keyboard we used for this tutorial you can download it from here.

It has been 8 years since we first published this tutorial, and over time, it has been viewed by several million users. We are glad that you found it helpful and have shared it so many times on social media. This tutorial is still up to date, and nothing has changed since.

Since then we have grown a lot and now we offer mockups that might come in handy if you are a designer and want to combine them with screenshots you have taken using the methods above. Since there are too many mockups to list them in a single line we are presenting them in a beautiful list:

Why do we even mention mockups here? Because we combine mockups with Mac screenshots to make product presentations such as these.

Let us know if you liked the post.



Image for how to screenshot on a mac


Quick view
Here’s how to capture the entire screen, a window, or just a portion of your screen by taking a screenshot on your Mac.

To learn more about this topic, visit the follow article:
Take a screenshot on your Mac: http://apple.co/1Gi2FNL

Additional Resources:
Contact Apple Support for Mac: http://apple.co/Mac

To subscribe to this channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AppleSupport

To download the Apple Support app: http://apple.co/2hFtzIv

Apple Support on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AppleSupport

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